Recently, a fellow missionary approached us with a 12 passenger used van that he is selling. It is more economical than a newer model, and it will both be big enough for our family, and big enough to use for a variety of ministry purposes. We have been doing a “Go Fund Me” campaign to raise the funds, since MTW no longer receives contributions for personal needs of this nature.
We rejoice to report that God has provided the necessary funds to purchase this van!
We want to give a hearty thanks to all those who contributed and ask that you would continue to pray for the details in purchasing it and obtaining the proper documentation in Uruguay.
It all started with the question: “Where are you from?” The young man who works at the pizza place wanted to know why I am here in Uruguay. When I explained who we are and why we have come, the conversation turned to the things of God. From his questions, I gather that he is fairly skeptical of the Church in general and of the Bible in particular. His first concern was what we thought of the latest Pope’s favorable pronouncements on homosexuals, but then he quickly called into question the authority of the Bible by pointing out that it had been written by men. This in turn opened a door to talk a little with him, but then mostly to his co-worker – a young woman who says she believes that God is a force and who says that she can’t believe that the account of a talking serpent in the book of Genesis could be historical. At the end it all, I believe we were able to raise some good points and share a short synopsis of the gospel message. What a wonderful opportunity from the Lord. It is because people like these young folks that we have come to Uruguay – so that many may be called to believe on the Name of Jesus!
While we are blessed to be able to serve here in Uruguay, it does come with its own challenges. One challenge we face is in purchasing a vehicle. Until now we have functioned via buses and taxis, but that has proved challenging, especially as we become more integrated into life here. After much prayer and consideration, we have decided to pursue purchasing a used vehicle. Autos here sell for more than 2 or 3 times the cost than they do in the U.S. Because of that, we will need to raise additional funds. We have found a van we are interested in and are hoping to purchase it or another of similar size. We are asking the Lord to provide a total of $17,000 toward costs.Would you consider a special contribution toward this need?
Since this is a personal need, Mission to the World cannot process contributions toward it. Also, the contribution would NOT be tax deductible.
What is it like to live without a car? What challenges does that present to the large family? Growing up in suburban America, it always seemed somewhat romantic to think of city living, where care ownership is optional and everywhere you need to go can be reached on foot or by bus. We have been living this city life now for 15 months, and I wanted to share our experiences.
Children always seem to outgrow or ruin perfectly good clothes in a short period of time. It is especially difficult to keep up with buying the right clothes when one has 7 children to look after! Last Saturday I went to the mall here in Montevideo (called “Shopping” by the locals) to buy some pants and shorts for our boys. The process involved the inevitable and dreaded dressing room (which all young boys love, right?). As the boys were trying on clothes, I spoke with the employee working at the dressing room.
The man was friendly and looked to be about 50 something years old. As we were talking I shared that I work with the church and am a pastor. That is something I have to get out right up front because every new person I meet wants to know why we have come to live in Uruguay. Actually, it is a great opportunity to start conversation about the Lord or about their beliefs. I get all kinds of responses varying from the surprised exclamation of “oh!” to the apathetic change of topic – which must signal a desire on the part of the person that they are not interested in the things of God. In this case the employee seemed pleased and shared with me that his granddaughter had been sick with a brain infection a few months ago. It looked very serious and they thought she would not make it long. But God in his mercy allowed her to recover and she is well. He shared that the doctors all say it must be some kind of miracle and he seemed thankful to God.
In my limited time with him we were not able to get into all the details of his personal religious beliefs nor an explanation of the gospel message, but I was able to invite him to church. He indicated he might be able to walk over after work on Sunday and visit the service. We pray that the Lord will indeed lead him to come and hear from God’s Word. Though not every conversation in public hits all the main points of the gospel message or draws out the details of the person’s personal beliefs, seeds are planted and the conversation can usually be directed to the Lord in some way. In this case there was the realization that the Lord God is the one responsible for the healing of this man’s granddaughter and I was able to give him a gospel tract with my phone number and the church web site. God is at work in all kinds of ways!
One thing that has been very different in our South American home is shopping for food. It has been different, and honestly, fun. First of all, we don’t have a vehicle. That has made a big impact in what shopping for a family of nine looks like. I never before in my life gave a thought to how heavy food is, until I had to carry it all home. Now, thinking about the weight of my purchases is part of the daily routine. Another daily feature of life is whether we have small cash on hand. Our bank gives us money only in bills of 1000 pesos (about $45 US dollars). This is too much for all but the largest stores to accept, making it a constant battle to keep small enough bills on hand, for shopping or taking buses and taxis. Continue reading Shopping for Food→
“I’m sorry, you can only register one of your documents today,” the woman behind the counter told Ray. He stood there with all 10 of the documents (9 birth certificates and a marriage certificate) that need to be registered before we can begin the process of getting our visa to live in Uruguay. Although he wasn’t clear why only one document, he dutifully filled out the form and paid the fee and then returned home. Continue reading A Day in Our Life→
One week ago we had just returned to Florida from the Dominican Republic, and we were working hard at packing and cleaning to get ready to fly to Uruguay. Not surprisingly, our youngest had come down with a respiratory illness, and all of us suffered from an upset tummy from the food/water. But nonetheless, on Thursday, some friends drove 3 vans to the airport with us and all of our luggage (19 check-in, 8 carry-on, 9 personal bags, a stroller and a carseat) to see us off. With all the help, it didn’t seem like too much stuff. So we got in line and our friends said goodbye. We expected just a routine, if slow, check in. Continue reading Our First Few Days in Uruguay→
What does a typical day look like for our family? We left our home in San Diego and are living in our 29 foot travel trailer, with our family of nine. Believe me when I say there IS no typical day. Each day is different, and usually pretty unique, and always busy. Continue reading Life in a 29 Foot Travel Trailer→
One of the things I enjoy about my life is the challenge of feeding a large family on a small budget. It is fun to shop the sales looking for healthy but inexpensive ingredients, and then turn them into tasty meals for the family. And having lived in quite a few different places, I have learned that for the best deals one needs to eat what the locals eat. That meant for instance, bratwurst and pork steaks in St. Louis, but carne asada and tortillas in Mexico. Continue reading What’s For Dinner?→